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Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Annals of Fried Chicken

It's been well-documented that I enjoy fried chicken, and, for the record, indeed I do.  Therefore, when the food media started reporting the opening of a new food-centric bar in Park Slope entitled Pork Slope, which, among other things, would serve fried chicken, I knew I had to go.

Actually, what I just wrote above is misleading, because I don't feel the need to go to every new place that serves fried chicken, and I certainly didn't feel the need to go to Pork Slope because a bunch of cool people, like Dale Talde, are involved.  The reason I felt particularly inclined to try Pork Slope is because the picture I viewed on Serious Eats reminded me of the best fried chicken I have ever had, at Chicken Shack in Baton Rouge.

Here is said picture, courtesy of Serious Eats:
















Now, please note this fried chicken seems to have more of a coating, a batter.  This is in contrast to a different type of fried chicken that seems to have more of a crunchy, crumbly exterior.  An absolutely delicious example of this can be found at The Dutch.  Here is a picture of that style, courtesy of The Examiner:
















Both have their merits, but I would at least like to establish that these two different types of fried chicken exist and are forever distinct.  We may call the Pork Slope variety "golden battered," while we may call The Dutch variety "crunchy crumbly."

So now, friends, you have the necessary exposition to understand my posture going into Pork Slope.  It was a perfect summery evening, warm but in no way hot or uncomfortable.  The sky was as blue as one could hope for, and there was a freshness to the air that was simply ravishing. Upon entering Pork Slope, I was struck by how busy and how loud it was.  How do places like this pop up and become so popular so quickly?

Busy and loud, but comfortable, as well.  The people working there were nice and not pretentious.  I ordered the fried chicken, which was $14, no sides included.  A friend and I also decided to share the cheeseburger, which was $6.50, I believe, also no sides.  For beverage purposes, I had a Coke, which, at $1, was quite a bargain, especially considering it was one of the most refreshing Cokes I have ever had.

First, the cheeseburger.  It was a fine cheeseburger, with a nice crust from the griddle.  It comes with American cheese, pickles, and ketchup and mustard, and if you ask them to hold any of the aforementioned ingredients they will tell you "no."  If you're comfortable ordering such a rigid cheeseburger, I found it to be about as good as a fast food style cheeseburger can be.

Now, the main event: the fried chicken.  In keeping with the picture, it was a "golden battered" variety fried chicken.  Unfortunately, there was very little flavor to the meat or batter itself.  I found it respectable because I did feel the batter was well done (although it didn't seemed re-heated to order, as claimed in the Serious Eats profile), yet a bland bird is a bland bird, and this bird was...bland.

With better seasoning this could be a very good fried chicken, but as it was, it is not worthy of the pantheon.

Pork Slope
5th Avenue, Park Slope